It’s been a busy week, both in the photo studio and the painting studio, as I work through the current crop of molded pulp pieces. I can only imagine that in the next few weeks I will have exhausted my raw materials and worked through the relevant color combinations. Then I shall look up, as if waking from a dream, and ask “what just happened” because I will have very little memory of the doing the actual work. The only evidence will be a handful of molded pulp pieces – now significantly layered with paint – and the pictures.
It’s always been my experience that forgetfulness comes after the creative furies have had their way with me. From The Native Sun to junkmail, it’s create, then wonder at process of creation.
I have to say that this current project is very stimulating. I like that the previous conversation from Colors of Transformation, between foreground and background, has been amplified by an additional conversation as each piece is rotated through the same series of primary colors.
The painting, too, has much to recommend. Of course, I have the painting skills of Mr. Bean. Sad, really. But the layering of the paints and the rhythmic brushing becomes an oddly meditative action. The preparation. The choosing of the brushes and the paints. The examination of the pieces. The process itself. The cleaning up afterwards. It’s like a Tea Ceremony. I can see how painters can really get sucked up into this process. And I’m just painting small pieces. It must be amazing to tackle big things!
The painting is such a contrast to the total physicality I experience in the photo studio. Usually I’m rushing because it’s my lunch break. I’m shooting vertically, against the same matboard as C of T. A hodgepodge of bottles, cans and containers have been drafted into holding up the pieces on top of the board in what is typically a very unstable arrangement. So there’s a constant movement as the pieces are positioned, repositioned and changed, and backgrounds and lights are likewise changed and adjusted.
Painting = peaceful. Photographing = exhausting. It’s reassuring to be able to constellate the opposites in the totality of the process. I can feel the balance of the work.
Now I just need to finish the project and find a place to exhibit. And sell them!